Mexico unveils website to channel help to quake victims

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Mexico City, Sep 29 (IANS) Mexico’s private sector and civil society on Thursday unveiled a website designed to coordinate and channel help to the victims of two recent and powerful earthquakes.

The site, called Sinergia 19 de Septiembre (www.s19s.org), the date of the deadliest quake, is a joint initiative to help both families and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) bounce back from the disaster.

The initiative deals with questions of “business, housing, jobs, aid and consulting,” and also offers a forum “for getting involved in this collaborative website and generating synergies with other players,” Xinhua quoted the backers as saying.

In Mexico, some 4.1 million SMBs account for 41.8 per cent of all jobs, according to the release.

Families or businesses that suffered losses in the quakes, from toppled buildings to loss of assets, will be able to register on the site to have their case assessed to access low-interest loans, consultants or other type of aid.

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“Those interested must register here and indicate what their family’s needs are; the more specific, the better we will be able to help them,” said the group.

Many capital residents still need an expert to inspect their homes to determine whether they can be repaired or need to be abandoned and rebuilt.

The site will also serve as a job bank for those who lost their jobs when their place of work was damaged.

The death toll from the 7.1-magnitude quake that hit central Mexico on September 19 stands at 344 as of Thursday. An earlier 8.2 magnitude quake hit south Mexico on September 7, killing nearly 100 people in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.

–IANS

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